The California-based Israeli whose film attacking Islam's prophet Mohammad triggered a deadly attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya has reportedly gone into hiding, the Associated Press reported.
Writer and director Sam Bacile spoke by phone with the AP from a secret location on Tuesday as his movie "Innocence of Muslims" apparently fueled the rage that claimed the life of the U.S. ambassador and three others in Libya. The U.S. mission in Cairo also was the target of protesters, burned an American flag.
Reuters was not able to locate Bacile for comment.
Bacile, 56, is a California real estate developer who describes himself as an Israeli Jew, the AP said.
"This is a political movie," Bacile told the AP. "The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but we're fighting with ideas."
The film portrayed Mohammad as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake. In one clip posted on YouTube, Mohammad was shown in an apparent sexual act with a woman. For many Muslims it is blasphemous even to show a depiction of the Prophet.
Bacile said the film cost $5 million, some of which was paid by more than 100 Jewish donors, the AP said.
<i>Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Chris Francescani; Editing by Bill Trott</i>